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Kyocera unveils sapphire shielded Brigadier handheld for Verizon

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kyocera-brigadierAs the old saying goes, you snooze you lose. Case in point, Apple has been reportedly exploring sapphire as a potential Gorilla Glass replacement for iPhone screen extra-durability for months, possibly years, but Kyocera just beat Cupertino to the punch, taking the wraps off the hunky Brigadier.

The Verizon exclusive is not just another soon-to-be-ignored-by-the-masses Kyocera rugged smartphone, it’s the first to visit the US of A with a “Sapphire Shield”. Of course, that probably won’t prevent Apple from trumpeting the feature as innovative when it ultimately debuts on the iPhone 6, since, well, Kyocera isn’t a name to be reckoned with in the industry’s big picture.

Still, if a virtually indestructible handheld is what you seek, and one with upper mid-range hardware, yet a sensible price point, the Kyocera Brigadier checks every box. Granted, no piece of glass can be 100 percent shatterproof, no matter the substances used to reinforce it.

But sapphire is the world’s second hardest mineral, and thus “virtually scratchproof”. Then you have Kyocera’s standard set of protective tools, water, dust, shock, vibration, solar radiation and salt fog resistance included. Otherwise put, the Brigadier complies with MIL-STD-810 tests, and carries additional IP6x, IPx8 and IPx5 certifications.

Running Android 4.4 KitKat out the box, the muscular gadget is no pushover raw performance-wise either, packing a quad-core 1.4 GHz Snapdragon 400 chip, 2 GB RAM and 4G LTE connectivity speeds. Also, a beefy 3,100 mAh battery and crisp 4.5-inch 720p display. The 8 MP rear-facing camera has LED flash and autofocus, and, on top of it all, the Brigadier supports Qi wireless charging.

All for the low, low price of $99.99 with two-year Verizon contracts, or $19.99 a month if you like living on the “Edge”. If only there was some way to make ruggedized gear easier on the eyes.

Via [Verizon Wireless]

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